Neglected dog suffered fur loss and bleeding skin

Neglected dog suffered fur loss and bleeding skin

Pictures show the heartwarming transformation of a dog who suffered considerable hair loss after her owners failed to seek veterinary treatment for her painful skin condition.

Ten-year-old Missy was left with sores and bleeding patches across her body but has since gone on to make a good recovery after she was cared for and rehomed by the RSPCA.

Her owners, Dean Gleeson and Richard Longden of Rotherham, have now been banned from keeping all animals for five years after they both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the Staffordshire bull terrier cross, following a prosecution by the animal welfare charity. 

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how RSPCA animal rescue officer Liz Braidley had visited their property on 5 October last year following concerns about a dog with a skin condition and Missy was brought to the door. 

In a statement, she said:

She had extensive fur loss across her body and was scratching constantly the entire time we were standing and talking. Most of the skin across her body appeared pink, with some areas beginning to cause sores and bleeding. 

It also appeared to be thickened in places and there was a very strong odour to it. Her nails also appeared to be long and overgrown.

Mr Longden and Mr Gleeson advised she had last been to the PDSA approximately 18 months to two years ago but they were not certain of the exact dates. They said they had been using some oatmeal shampoo on her skin and had got some shampoo from the PDSA that had been given to them by a friend and wasn’t specifically prescribed for Missy. They said it had seemed to make a slight improvement and they had intended to save up to take her back to the vets.

The officer said she was extremely concerned by the dog’s condition and felt Missy needed immediate veterinary treatment. Both men agreed for her to be taken for an examination and signed her over into the care of the RSPCA. 

The vet who saw her later that day said she was suffering from an untreated severe diffuse skin disease that had caused thickening around her face, ears, abdomen and legs which would have been present for a number of months given the severity of the inflammation and the chronic changes to her skin.    

Missy received ongoing medication and care by dedicated staff at the RSPCA’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch where she made a good recovery and has since found a loving new home. 

At a sentencing hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on 19 April, Gleeson and Longden were also both given a 12-month Community Order, to include 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and told to pay costs of £100 and a £114 victim surcharge. 

In mitigation, the court heard that Missy had played a huge part in their lives and that this was a case of ‘well-intentioned’ but ‘incompetent’ care. They were both genuinely remorseful about what had happened to their dog and neither of them wished to get any more animals.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Jennie Ronksley, who led the investigation, said:

Cases like this highlight the seriousness of what can happen if people fail to take timely and appropriate action when their pet is suffering from a skin condition. It's not 'just' sore skin, it's a painful medical condition that requires diagnosis and treatment by a veterinary professional.

Missy was in awful discomfort, but with the right care and support, she made fantastic progress and it’s lovely to see her enjoying life in her later years.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate online or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.